March 24, 2011

Notes on design: Rodrigo Corral comes full circle


The design blog Unbeige reports that star designer Rodrigo Corral has been tapped to take over as creative director of Farrar, Strauss and Giroux beginning next month. Corral began his career as a designer at FSG in 1996, later moving to Doubleday and eventually opening his own studio, Rodrigo Corral Design, in 2002.

Corral is perhaps best known for creating the iconic cover of James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, which, owing to the Frey/Oprah fallout, seemed to appear on every television screen at all times for a period in early 2006. Other notable work includes covers for Chuck Palahniuk, Jeannette Walls, Junot Díaz, and Jonathan Lethem. More recently, he adorned the Jay-Z memoir Decoded with a Warhol painting and laid out the Mary-Kate and Ashley magnum opus, Influence. Corral additionally serves as Creative Director of New Directions and oversaw an overhaul of their brand, which we reported in November. According to the announcement, he plans to continue operating his studio after the transition.

Corral discusses his working process in this interview conducted by Metropolis last year:

…in order to come up with ideas—which, aside from a solid understanding of typography and typographical context is the most important part of all of this—you have to have an understanding of what has come before and what is current. I’ve spent years in used bookstores and magazine shops looking, admiring, and collecting, and this is all a part of the “design process.” The things I have stored in my brain and all that is still out there to see and learn are all part of the process.

Christopher King is the former Art Director of Melville House.